Montreal - Fires happen all the time (not chess related)

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  • Montreal - Fires happen all the time (not chess related)

    Today my favorite breakfast resto on St-Denis went up in flames. I have been going there since they opened at this location almost 10 years ago. When I would have business meetings, I would take folks there...food was excellent and so was the service.

    Earlier in the week, a former bank on the same street had major fire damage. Montreal is a city where there are major fires almost every day. In 2016, Montreal firefighters took on 315 major fires in buildings. A year earlier, there were 313 fires and, in 2014, 336 major fires in buildings.

    I have lived through 3 fires in this city. The first one, I was too young to remember. I was living in the East End of Montreal and my mother was making French Fries...

    The 2nd one, I owned a Chess Coffee house with a friend, on St-Hubert Street . The gal who was working that night, dumped the ashtrays (yes people could smoke in those days) into the garbage can. Closed up. Went home...and the rest was history. We were insured by a small company that tried to get out of paying...fortunately Yves Boisvert, journalist for La Presse (at the time, the largest French language newspaper in North America) wrote an article...and the owner called me into his office the day after the article appeared...paid..and said..I am not insuring you again.

    The 3rd one was at Chess'n Math on St. Denis in 2004 I believe. We had a vet as a tenant and she had added equipment in her office on the 3rd floor of our 4 story building. We had an electrical fire that cost the insurance company $350,000 and damaged the 3rd and 4th floors of our building. We were paying $6,000 a year for insurance at the time...today we pay 3 times that amount.

    Fires are hell...even if you are properly insured. Fortunately Yolande Beauvais...long time owner of The Chess Specialist who was on our team...handled the insurance company...you are vulnerable after a fire..she was in total control or we would have had a rougher time.

    I called the owner of my breakfast resto place today to offer my condolences. He told me they are talking about tearing down the building. It is a very sad day. Fortunately in all the fires, no one was hurt.

    I am sure others have stories much worse than mine.

    I hope you never have to live through this.

    Larry
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